Thursday, January 24, 2013

Storybird is ‘reverse-engineering’ the picture book

Storybird is ‘reverse-engineering’ the picture book, article.

...A little under three years later, Storybird ... has over two million members (and has inspired a dozen marriage proposals). The site works with artists from around the world, who upload their portfolios onto Storybird’s platform. Users choose their art, sequence the images any way they like and add text to turn them into a story. They can then share the story across social networks and embed it on blogs.

As an aspiring writer and artist myself, not the least of illustrated books, I find this very inspiring. Just for starters, the idea of starting with the art instead of the text seems to make the story-making process really kickstart for me, instead of having to be forced.

I also have much affinity for childrens' picture books. I love art which is simple and fanciful, and children generally don't have the adult idea that art has to be be serious, complex, and 'meaningful', not to mention realistic. I believe that the deepest aesthetics in pictures have nothing to do with those ideas, and may as easily rest in simple and even silly pictures. Maybe many children have yet to appreciate the deeper levels, but there's nothing wrong with combining levels, in fact much of the best art does, often so successfully that most never notice it.

Oh, and it also seems to me that humor is often just inherent in childrens' books and art, whereas in adult books and art, it seems more forced, like it is either 'comedy' or it is not 'comedy'. I think this is wrong, I think humor is inherent in a healthy view on life, there's no need to separate it out sharply. The famous Danish philosopher Piet Hein (Kumbel) wrote that humor taken only for laughs and serious things taken only seriously are equally poorly understood.

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